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Taxi wala

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I was getting late, and it had started to rain too, so I decided to hire a cab. Fortunately, at the very next moment, a cab came into my view. I waved and the driver applied the brakes.

I have always found taxi drivers interesting. This, in no way, means that I dream to be a taxi driver. Being a taxi driver has never been there in my ambitions. But I also think that many taxi drivers hadn’t dreamt of being taxi drivers either. After all, how can we simply know about the troubles they might have gotten through. Nobody can come to know about the story behind a person by just looking at that person, you see. We humans are just like that. Complex machines with complex backgrounds and complex problems. And as if this much complexity is not enough, we have our complex dreams with their equally complex elucidations.

Anyway, before this entry turns into a psychological analysis of people’s realtionships with their pasts, let’s move on.

After getting inside that taxi, I looked closely at the driver. He was young and quite a, well, mulla. I could see some cassette covers lying on the dashboard, and they were all about some bayaanaat by Maulana Tariq Jamil. Also present was a book titled Faza’il-e-A’maal. (I am still trying to remember where else I have seen it). The driver was in the habit of driving fast, and I really liked that since I was getting late. Also remarkable were his ‘cutting’ skills—the way he was making room between little traffic jams and leaving other cars behind (and, perhaps, creating more traffic jams. I never looked back to check.)

When I reached my destination, I pulled out a Rs. 500 note. The driver looked at me and sighed. After he arranged the change, I reached with my right hand to collect the change while giving him the note with my left hand. He stopped.

“Right hand. Always give and take with your right hand.”

A smile spread across my face. Simple and beautiful, I thought, I should have known.



(Possibly) similar posts


Virtuous Lady

Mar 23, 2005 at 12:02 pm

Well yes, almost all these taxi and bus drivers have good ‘cutting’ skills and sometimes I feel they do it just to annoy me but no, they don’t. It’s just a feeling. Forget taxis, I would like to drive a truck someday (and scare the hell out of taxi drivers pretending to run over them). I wonder what’s the philosophy behind always taking and giving with the right hand.


Mar 23, 2005 at 12:33 pm

Simple and beautiful indeed, and you related it so well, too, mashaAllah.

and, perhaps, creating more traffic jams. I never looked back to check.



Mar 23, 2005 at 9:11 pm

interesting experience i must say…Drivers (of all kinds) are really amazing ppl…apart from them having those cutting skills


Mar 23, 2005 at 11:07 pm

Awesum post
Full of interpretations & measurments about about people at public place…i reallu love to guess n explore ppl ath such situation where u hardly have time to read their faces & attitudes……
usually my mo’m also points me to serve water n eatables with righthand that i usually forget to do :)

Dinky Mind

Mar 24, 2005 at 3:04 am

Maulana (Mufti?)Tariq Jamil..ahan. Once I also saw his cassette in our car.

You must have seen Fazail-e-Aamal in my house…lol… I have got it!

Are you a left-hander? One of my brothers is a lefty and he does everything with his left hand, although we ask him every now and then to use his right hand.

Cheerio =)


Mar 24, 2005 at 5:23 am

hey welcome back Saadat ji
i think im prettty late tho..anywayz nice experience…there alwayz events in ur life u learn many lil stuff frm other ppl..
Taxi walas know trick how to drive in fast way n slow way..specially in pak…rush driving..if som1 say to me drive in pak..tht’ll be big task for me..
anywayz nice post
tcZ =)


Mar 24, 2005 at 9:13 am

Virtuous Lady: You have got some dangerous plans. Here’s an advice: don’t use the conventional trucks. They are heavy and don’t gain much momentum quickly. Try the Shehzore ones, though, they are quite nifty, and will serve for the purpose effectively! And the philosophy of right hand: well, it’s always been said and believed that right is the hand of right, and left is the hand of wrong. I don’t know anything about it from the religious perspective. That taxi driver was a religious person, so maybe this has something to do with it. I was amused by the simplicity of his tone in which he instructed me to use my right hand.

Yasmine: Glad you liked it :) I’ll check for traffic jams in the future if I travel with the same driver again!

NJ: Absolutely. Drivers are amazing people. Maybe because of the travelling they do. They have a lot of things to learn from, and a lot of stories to tell.

Gul: Exploring people is a good thing, if you do it right. Sometimes a misinterpretation leads you to false conclusions. And come one, be a good girl, and do as your mom says!

Dinky Mind: I am not sure if he was a mufti or a maulana, but whatever. And aha! You have Faza’il-e-A’mal in your home. What’s it about? I am primarily a right-hander, though I am sure I have a great tendency to be a left-hander too.

Saroosh: Driving in Pakistan is a big task for you? I’d say that if you can drive in Pakistan, then you can drive anywhere. Thanks for liking the post!

Virtuous Lady

Mar 24, 2005 at 10:01 am

You’ve got the knowledge of a truck driver about trucks! May be there was a time in your life when you wanted to be a truck driver. I hope I’m able to rent a Shehzore one day!!


Mar 24, 2005 at 10:41 am

that was nice. i like ur brain.


Mar 24, 2005 at 1:24 pm

did he charge extra for teaching you the lesson?


Mar 24, 2005 at 3:27 pm

yup-nice taxi driver…btw, u know vot?i wudnt mind the psychological analysis…!!!

Tall Dark Handsome

Mar 24, 2005 at 5:03 pm

always avoid connecting with a taxi driver ..
:razz: ..

u will learn soon :D ..

they have views about everything .. trust me .. from the governments to the third world war to the movies .. and what not .. if u want to see them entertain u .. just get their motor running :P


Mar 24, 2005 at 11:02 pm

hmmm… *critical evaluation*

I like discussing stuff with people (passengers, drivers, conductors, hawkers, …) when I get on a ride. For that once I forget that I am–and I love being–an “introvert”.

Such folks have a lot of exposure and interaction with people in our environment, which means they’re at least as good at understanding people and their ways as a social psychologist or an anthropologist–they’re in the field and they’ve got “applied knowledge”.

heh heh…

Loving knowledge just for the sake of it!


Mar 24, 2005 at 11:06 pm

TDH, a little speculation never hurt anybody!

Ever heard the story about the US planning to split Iran into 3 administrative units?

I find such stuff very insightful.


Mar 25, 2005 at 2:15 am

Driving in Pakistan is a big task for me cuz of traffic n specially those mini busses


Mar 25, 2005 at 5:15 am

Unfortunatley Maulanas don’t elicit such positive feelings for me. I looked up this Tariq Jamil and tried to look up his ideals, i couldn’t find much except lectures and i wasn’t about to listen to them. Of course i amdit that the right hand thing was nice, i think it would be even nicer if that happened in Toronto. If it happened in Pakistan i probably would take offence to it…. right now i’m in such a terrible mood i’d take offence to eveything… please ignore this post… have a safe taxi ride….


Mar 25, 2005 at 10:02 am

Virtuous Lady: LOL, there was a time in my life when I wanted to be everything (except a taxi driver). But I would doubt that my knowledge of trucks reaches up to the standards of that of a truck driver. Go and rent that Shehzore!

Sadiya: Thanks. And my brain? What did you manage to like in my brain?

Vaqas: No, he didn’t. He was even reasonable while charging the fare too.

Moiz: Hahaha! Is it you or Dr. M, who would be interested in psychological analysis? (And come ON, meray bhai, forget MBA. Start studying Psychology!)

Tall Dark Handsome: I have been getting entertained by taxi drivers for about four years now! It’s fun connecting with them. Sometimes they provide you with a very peculiar view of a picture, and that of course due to their ability of having views about everything. Talking with them sometimes is just like reading some shaam ka akhbar!

Muhammad: Even a cutter introvert can’t resist talking with them. They are such brilliant conversationalists, these taxi drivers. And you are right: they are very good at understanding people because of their applied knowledge. Waisay I didn’t hear of the US plans about 3 administrative units of Iran; instead, I was told something about Telenor being a spy network (not by this taxi driver, though).

Saroosh: The traffic and mini buses are exactly what a driver needs to enhance his/her skills!

Sahar: As far as Maulana/Mufti/whatever Tariq Jamil or any other is concerned, then I’d admit that none of these so called maulanas have ever succeeded in catching my attention too, since all they talk about is sect, and also that their lectures are wrapped within candy-words, speaking nothing but of their own greatness, and if, in case, there is something worth listening to, it’s very short and abstract. There were some brilliant scholars we have had in our past, and there are some very good aalims out there, but the problem is that the chaudharys of religion don’t let them come up. But anyway, I don’t want to talk about these things. As for the offence thing: it’s something personal, and since you were in a terrible mood, so that makes it highly personal. It’s all right though, nobody is cheerful all the time, you know :) Thanks for dropping by, by the way!


Mar 25, 2005 at 5:19 pm

Lovely recording of an otherwise, seemingly, mundane happening. You DO know how to write now, don’t you. Reading your posts is like taking a path that you know is safe but what you meet at the end is always such a pleasant surprise. :) or one of those New Zealand treat stalls along the way…where fresh fruit or something equally pleasant awaits travellers…without anyone to mind it…the very act of trusting travellers with it is so touching, you leave some money behind after taking a break…
Now where did such a remark come from? your post reminded me of it, just.
and tehse days, honestly, what would i not give to drive…taxi, truck, minibus, coaster…whatever…Mr. Observant!


Mar 27, 2005 at 7:20 am

A: I just don’t know what to say after reading your comment, except thanks. So thanks a lot! Much appreciated. :) The New Zealand treat stalls thing is interesting, I didn’t know about that. And be careful while driving coasters, though. They are tricky!


Mar 27, 2005 at 12:21 pm

obviously im not the only one fascinated by your brain.. judging by the comment to blog ratio. it’s like a comment page with an occasional blog by saadat ;) im not complaining tho. i enjoy it. mashaAllah.


Mar 27, 2005 at 8:12 pm

Sadiya: *at a loss of words again*
Hehe. Thanks :)


Mar 28, 2005 at 10:46 am

Lissen, child, let not all these comments and appreciation and taareef go to your head…they are in response to your posts…so keep us posted. :)
and hey, how come your enetation is so reliable and mine puts up a disappearing act every second day?
Is it me?


Mar 29, 2005 at 12:01 am

I’m a lefty and one of my teachers keeps insisting I hand her things with the right hand and I always forget.
Nice description.


Mar 29, 2005 at 1:24 am

fazail-e-imaal…. you’ll never see a tablighi without that book! trust me!


Mar 29, 2005 at 6:04 am

Ah yes… that is what i was looking up. The sect thing…They prey on the minds of the mindless really, that is what i wittness mullah after mullah doing… So i present them with a one fingered salute!

Thanks for visiting my side Sadat… you rock!!!


Mar 29, 2005 at 6:38 am

okok meine maan liya mini buses sey hum achi driving sekh saktey hai


Mar 29, 2005 at 8:30 am

A: It’s Enetation.

Sara: Yeah, every lefty finds him/herself instructed about the right hand.

Jogia: Ahan. Have you got that book? ;)

Sahar: You’re welcome.

Saroosh: :D

Fallen Angel

Mar 29, 2005 at 11:27 am

Yeah, you should’ve known … :P :D

And believe me, half the traffic jams last twice as long as they should because some “taxi wala” or “wagon wala” got his car stuck in the opposite lane in the hope of getting “AROUND” the traffic jam. I’ve only seen traffic in Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi. I can only imagine what it must be like in Karachi (being Pakistan’s biggest city).

Anyway, I’ve heard it takes more than 2 hours to make it from one end of the Karachi to the other during day time, is it true? 8-O


Mar 29, 2007 at 10:22 am

I think you would be very surprised if you took the time to listen to one of Tariq Jamil’s lectures. There is a nice collection available at the site below; they are all profound but I particularly like Akhirat Ki Zindagi and Aaj Allah Naraz Hai.

I have spent nearly all my life in the US and it was quite by accident that I came upon one of his lectures. They are profound. He is so humble, self-deprecating, and moving. There is no egoism or sectarianism in his talk. I think he would be more angry at the damage so many of these mullahs have done to Islam than you could be.

Spare 30 minutes of your life and give it a try. You might be surprised.


Mar 30, 2007 at 7:20 am

Hamdan: Thank you for dropping by, and for providing the link. I realize that I might have been harsh when I was talking about mullas in my earlier comment, but, of course, not everybody is the same, and I do respect the ones who really know what they are talking about. I would listen to the lectures that you mentioned soon. Thanks again! :)

faisal bilal

Jun 16, 2007 at 3:44 am

take care


Jul 17, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Hi Saadat,
I am Tariq from Bangladesh, living in China.
Your post about the Taxi ride was simply wonderful.

About Mulana Tariq Jamil – I am a big fan of him (and I am known to my friends as “Tariq Jamil” too because I quote him very often) haha… However being his fan has nothing to do with my name. It’s simply because of his vast knowledge, wisdom and humbleness. He is truly a universal A’lim and truly a gift of Allah(SWT). He is loved by millions around the world and especially in Arab for his talks in Arabic. He is more fluent in Arabic than Urdu perhaps. He is the one behind transformation of Junaid Jamsheed, Sayed Anwar, Yousuf Youhanna, and many many others in Pakistan and around the world. I guarantee you if you listen some of his talks your life will never be the same again (if you really Love Allah). I have seen many Indian & Pakistani students herein China has become a better human being and a better Muslim after listening M.Tariq Jamil. Below is a link of huge collection of his Bayaans. I cordially invite and insist you all to drop by and listen some of his Bayans.

Some info About Mulana Tariq Jamil : He is not a Mufti, but a great A’lim with huge knowledge and charisma. He is the son of a Zamindar family and was due to become a doctor. His other brothers are doctor and engineer too. But his destiny has turned him to be one of the best Mulana of our time. I have listened many Mulanas but he is very unique and truly a humble slave of Allah(SWT). As far as I know he left his medical college at 2nd year of his study and spent nearly 10 years in hard labors to learn Quraan, Ahadiths and Arabic language too. His idea is if I am to understand Quraan then I have to do it in Aribic. But his father was very angry and kicked him out of home. And finally when his father went for Hajj and received very worm hospitality by the Arabs (starting from the airport till his whole stay in Saudia) because of his son, his father understood that Tariq is a Diamond. Finally when his father died he himself gave him GUSUL and prayed the Zanaja. What else a son can do for his father. Behind his transformation there was a hand of an economist from Bangladesh who by then was in Pakistan for higher study perhaps and was inspired by Tablig Dawa.

Finally Mulana Tariq Jamil himself is nothing but a humble slave of Allah(SWT) and a blessing to the humanity of our time who inspires millions to be a better Human being and a better Muslim by the grace of Allah(SWT) and the guidance of Rasul(SAW). He speaks nothing other than what was taught by the Prophet(SWA) of Allah(SWT).

Isn’t it beautiful that I myself a Bangalee who usually dislike Pakistan for 1971 chapter of our life is a big fan of a Pakistani Mulana ? He helped me to put aside all these divisions of race, ethnicity, color, locality, language etc. and to become a universal servant of Allah(SWT) and to understand universal brotherhood.

May Allah Almighty guide us all throughout our life and grant us his bounty in here and here after – Ameen.
Sorry for the big add up, Wassalam/Tariq


Aug 24, 2007 at 11:52 pm

I really liked the style of the taxi driver

ahmed khan

Oct 9, 2007 at 5:13 am

Tariq Jamil has only one brother who is a cardiologist at Lahore. Tariq Jamil never went to a medical college but had done his preMedical Fsc from Govt college Lahore and was about to get in the medical college when Allah Tala selected him for His mission. He is a simple man with the love of Islam. this love made him learn Deen and then instead of keeping it to himself he is trying to spead it. What he feels is good for him is good for the rest of mankind: isn’t this one of the basic characters of Islam?


Nov 24, 2007 at 1:58 am

Ahmed Khan, would you by any chance know the name of Tariq Jamil’s cardiologist brother in Lahore ?

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